U.S. – Cuba Diplomatic Relations Restored After 50 Years

Image from http://www.kolotv.com/

Image from http://www.kolotv.com/

The hostility between the United States and Cuba ended as the two countries restored their diplomatic ties on Monday. Cheering followed when the two countries agreed to restart normal ties.

The Cuban flag was raised outside the U.S. State Department to join the other flags of other U.S. allies. It was also scheduled to be raised at Havana’s the diplomatic mission in Washington – to be upgraded to embassy. It took five decades for the United States and Cuba to restore diplomatic ties after cold relations ensued in the Cold War.

The interests section of the US in Havana was also promoted to a full embassy. A formal ceremony is scheduled on the visit of John Kerry, US Secretary of State in the next weeks, who will hoist the banner officially.

Kerry will receive Bruno Rodriguez, his counterpart, formally later Monday for a meeting in Washington, while Rodriguez will officiate over a ceremony at the Cuban embassy, which is a short distance away from the White House.

The decision to renew the two country’s diplomatic ties was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on Dec. 17. Following the announcement, a number of significant events have ensued. This includes the April meeting between the U.S. President and the Cuban President in Paraguay. This was the first meeting of the two presidents since the revolution in 1959.

Cuba was removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in May, which was a primary hindrance to reestablishing the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Several issues are still waiting to resolve now that the first step in normalizing the diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba has transpired. This includes:  mutual claims for economic reparations, U.S. calls for Cub to improve on democracy and human rights, and Havana’s insistence on the end of the 53-year old trade embargo. Some U.S. legislators together with several well-known Republican presidential candidates have pledged not to revoke the embargo. They have also vowed to reduce the actions of Obama on Cuba.

Nevertheless, the events on Monday mark a significant turnabout in the policy of the U.S. toward Cuba under the term of President Barack Obama. Since Presient Obama took office at the White House, he had attempted to restore harmony between the two countries and has continually slackened travel restrictions and remittances to the communist island.

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